In a family where Mom & Dad swim laps, daughter swims fly, and son (who was all state in breast) coaches summer league; it's easy to guess what we're doing tonight. We are watching the Olympics.
My daughter was with me at the grocery store earlier in the week and said, "One of my favorite meals is when you do hamburger patties for you & my brother, veggie burgers for Dad & me and fix lots of jicama fries to go with them." It sounded good to me, so that's what we had tonight. We also had salad with lettuce, fresh spinach, and carrot sticks.
There haven't been as many sidebar stories about what the athletes are eating as there often are during television Olympic coverage. I heard one item about how much weight water polo players would lose during the games because they are burning calories much faster than they can replace them.
I vividly remember an interview with swimmer Josh Davis after he won his gold medals in 1996. He said that the year before the Olympics a coach had challenged the swimmers to give up a food that would not contribute to building their physical strength. Different swimmers chose different foods. Josh had given up hydrogenated vegetable oil. The interviewer stammered - That means you gave up margarine and crackers and cookiesâ€¦what did you eat? Josh smiled and said that he ate more meat and more fresh fruit & vegetables. When I look at what I eat on the Type O diet, I guess I'm eating a lot like Josh Davis's training diet. It took him to Olympic gold; where will it take me?
Last night I baked peach muffins. I wanted to send my daughter off to her first day of high school with a beneficial breakfast. There is a recipe on RECIbase for Rice Muffins (Karen's Brown-White- Rice/ Variable Muffins). There are 4 eggs in the recipe, so these have more protein than your average muffin. The recipe calls for a cup of applesauce. I was out of applesauce - besides I wanted to bake something a little more exciting for back to school. In the back of the pantry I found some peaches canned in pear juice. I whirled them in the food processor, and they were perfect. The last time I made these muffins I used all rice flour. This time I used half rice and half spelt.
First my daughter drank her soy shake. That is what really gets her going in the morning. Then she ate one big and two little muffins, saying they were "very, very good." They must have been because she had another as an after school snack. My son grabbed a couple on his way to work, and I popped one in my husband's lunch. There are enough left over for two more breakfasts later in the week.
Earlier in the summer I wrote about the night I found out that our neighborhood pool is 25 yards long rather than 25 meters. Once or twice a year I make the effort to swim 32 laps or what I thought was a mile (1600 meters). What a disappointment to learn that I have been 160 yards short all these years. Last night the weather was a little cooler than it has been, and we got to the pool a little earlier. I swam 36 laps - 1800 yards. It was the first time I ever swam a real mile. Not too bad for someone who will turn 51 in two days.
I am back home from the family reunion. I would probably be missing everyone, but school starts tomorrow, so I'm too busy to be sad. I had a long, late night conversation with my brother-in-law. He started out skeptical about the Blood Type Diet. But he has had stomach problems similar to mine, and had already figured out for himself that he feels better when he avoids milk products. He assumed he was lactose intolerant, but was interested in the concept of whey as a Type O avoid. The last thing he said to me was that he was going to look further into the Blood Type Diet.
While I was gone Jayne wrote saying, "I find I falter with avoids, but then I've got a younger family and a husband that still likes his wheat and especially sandwiches." I realize that sometimes I write as if my family is dedicated to the BTD, and sometimes I write as if they ignore it completely. In fact, both are true. Let me see if I can describe their fluctuating levels of commitment.
My daughter has the second highest level of personal commitment - within the foods that she likes. She easily gave up milk potatoes, and beef. She easily increased pinto beans, peanuts, salad, and soy. However, she does not like trying new foods - especially foods with strange names. She does not want to totally give up popular teenage foods like pizza and soda. Even at her level of commitment to the Type A diet, she has seen undeniable changes in her skin and muscle tone.
My husband has gradually become convinced that the Blood Type Diet is probably true. He is willing to follow the Type A diet as long as I do all the planning. When I fix a beneficial breakfast for him, he enjoys it. But at my parents' this week he ate packaged cereal and milk. When I pack him a beneficial lunch, he compliments it when he gets home. But if he goes out for a business lunch, he eats whatever he is in the mood for. He does not want to remember what foods are beneficial and what foods are avoids.
My son tends to naturally like Type O foods, but is the least likely to ask for my advice. He likes getting bigger meat portions at dinner and making thicker sandwiches. The BTD has given him ammunition against vegetarian influences on his college campus. He happily switched to sweet potatoes. He is an athlete, and had already cut back fried foods and sodas. The Type O diet reinforced those habits. However, sports nutrition articles praise oranges and peanuts so highly that he does not want to believe they are avoids. I did such a good job convincing him to drink milk when he was a little boy, that he won't give it up (I wish there had been an "Eat right for your baby" book 20 years ago). He understands that wheat is bad for him, but still likes sandwiches. This summer he has been content with sprouted bread.
I got up early and ran through the neighborhood where I grew up. It is a 3/4 mile loop around the playground and school where I spent my K - 6th grade years. I ran the loop 3 times. I wish I could exercise first thing every morning. It certainly gets the day off to a good start.
In my extended family there are 7 Os and 3 As. There is a lot of variety among the Os. My Dad and my sister are artistic and slightly melancholy. My Mom is a classic sanguine. My son and I tend to be phlegmatic. Our body types are different as well. My Dad is compact and wiry. My son is tall with lots of lower body strength. My nephew is tall with very broad shoulders. My Mom and my sister are apples. I am a pear. But we all have one thing in common - we like beef!
I did better with food choices today. Pizza for lunch was the big avoid for the day. I took a little pizza and a lot of fresh fruit. Dinner was a seafood feast with beneficial and neutral vegetables. Dessert was too sugary to be healthy, but no major avoids except the crust.
My Dad is an avid reader, and National Geographic is one of the periodicals he reads monthly. The cover story for the August issue is on fat. Some of the research is fascinating and should have pointed the writer directly to the Blood Type Diet, but she chose to do pros and cons about Adkins instead. Here were some of my favorite quotes.
"The food pyramid guidelines told Americans to avoid fat and eat grains, so we loaded up on pasta and bread. The low-fat message backfired." "We're eating more vegetables...the only problem: almost a third of these vegetables were iceberg lettuce, French fries, and potato chips." "Americans enjoy one of the most luxurious lifestyles on Earth: Our food is plentiful. Our work is automated. Our leisure is effortless. And it's killing us." "The grains we're eating are flour based items like pasta, tortillas, and hamburger buns which have little more nutritional value than table sugar."
Tonight I have a smile on my face, a lot of love and my heart, and a slight gurgle in my stomach. I'm at a family reunion.
My sister and her family live overseas. They come to the United States for a few weeks every summer, and we all get together for a several days at my parents' house. We have had a wonderful time today catching up on what all of us have been up to. Though we write a lot of e-mail, so we know the main events in each others lives, it's so much more vivid when we sit around the dining room table telling stories with hand motions and voice inflections.
There is a lot of laughter in my family. There is also a lot of food, not all of it BTD friendly. We had hamburgers for lunch. I warned my mom before we went to the table that I wasn't going to eat the bun. She had baked sweet potatoes the night before, and was agreeable to my warming up one of the leftover sweet potatoes to replace the bun and chips. Dinner was more difficult. On the positive side, there was a big fruit platter with several beneficial choices and green beans. On the avoid side, we had a breaded chicken dish (quite tasty) and corn on the cob (I did take the smallest piece). If those had been the only two avoids, I would probably have been ok. But there are three family birthdays in the summer and mine is one of them. I could hardly say no to carrot cake served in my honor.
The little gurgles I am feeling tonight will do me no lasting damage, but they do serve as a reminder of why I started the BTD and why I intend to continue following it.